The responsorial psalm set for Sunday, the 2nd Sunday of Advent had us sing in celebration of the Lord’s gift of freedom.
The Song celebrated the freedom of Israel from Babylon. It is sung by the Church in celebration of freedom that is greater yet.
What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.
When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
on our lips there were songs.
The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels
the Lord worked for them!’
What marvels the Lord worked for us!
Indeed we were glad.
Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
will sing when they reap.
They go out, they go out, full of tears,
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song,
carrying their sheaves.
Freedom from slavery; freedom from sin; freedom from oppression; freedom for hopelessness; freedom from being alone: freedom comes in many forms, and the Lord works that we receive the gift that restores us to ourselves.
Freedom can of course be abused. No-one, except through Christ, had such freedom as Adam and Eve and we recall how they abused it. We too may have received freedom and abused it too, not having learnt how to live it well. We receive freedom ‘from’ as gift, but freedom is given us not just to do whatever but for the good and especially for the common good.
God’s freeing of us points to God’s covenant with humankind, his desire to draw us into communion with him. The gift of freedom is given us that we too, freely, might extend and deepen that covenantal relationship – with God, with our neighbour.
- What freedom do you enjoy?
- What freedom do you lack?
- How does your life benefit others?
- How do the lives of others benefit you?
Bring your thoughts to God in prayer.
Detail of Victims to the Totalitarian Regime by Ye. I. Chubarov, Gorki Park, Moscow. (c) 2015, Allen Morris